Thursday, August 9, 2012

Burgers with Cantaloupe Salsa

Thinking ahead for once, I realized that I was going to want to have something pretty easy for dinner on Sunday. We haven't had burgers at home yet this summer, so that sounded like a pretty good option, though it left open the question of what to have for a vegetable. There was a cantaloupe in our CSA this week, and so I thought, why not use that to make a salsa to put on the burgers? The sweetness of the cantaloupe should go well with the spiciness of the peppers and the beefiness of the burgers. Poking around the internet, it turns out I wasn't the first person to think of this, and I found a good recipe to use as a base.

About 40 minutes before cooking time, I took the ground beef out of the fridge, shaped it, and seasoned it with some salt and pepper. I want to shape the ground beef into patties while it's still cold, since the beef resists my manipulations somewhat, and so maintains a bit more texture. But, it should be room temperature when I throw it on the grill, so that it cooks evenly. Seasoning it early helps the seasonings seep throughout the meat, and the salt helps structure the proteins. I was fortunate enough to have a wife who made the salsa the night before, so once the patties were shaped, I just had to pour the coals into the chimney to get ready to cook.

The hamburgers turned out well, with a nice crust but juicy and meaty on the inside. I was a bit nervous about how it would pair with the salsa, but it went really well together. The salsa was just nicely sweet and a little spicy, so with each bite, you got a bit of juicy spicy sweetness. If I had to do it again, I might spice the burger with some allspice or some cajun spices, but this works quite well with just some salt and pepper.

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